Now, John is ready to grow EatAds again, and this time, he’s brought reinforcements in two new co-founders. Dhruv Sahgal, who worked at Royal Bank of Scotland, joins the company as business operations lead while Nigel Hembrow, formerly at e-billing startup GreenPost, will head up product development.
EatAds has also secured more angel funding from Crystal Horse Investments, their original backers, and it managed to bring along a few more angel investors.
The company was founded in February 2011 and was doing pretty well — quickly expanding to 12 markets. As an online platform that connects marketers with outdoor advertising spaces, it cuts through the opacity in the traditional advertising market by letting marketers view media properties and details like pricing, location, and demographics. They can then purchase a space or make counter offers.
Opacity brings inefficiency, resulting in low occupancy rates in outdoor advertising spaces, which can go as low as 60% in India, says Nigel. By bringing the process of search, discovery, buying, and selling into one integrated platform, EatAds hopes to bring greater efficiency to the market and raise profit margins for both advertisers and media owners.
The website is free-to-list, and in a departure from the original product, does not take any commission from media owners. Instead, it plans to earn through preferred listings, website ads, and enterprise tools.
EatAds had been running all along, but was in maintenance mode until Dhruv and Nigel joined in November 2012. They’ve since managed to increase the site’s listings from 200 to 1,000 spaces. While they list properties in 16 countries, they’re focusing on four: India, Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia.
They’re preparing to raise the next round of funding at SGD 600k (USD 492k).